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U.S. Businesses Rebuke Trump Over Immigration Ban


Now let's hear some American companies that are responding to Friday's temporary ban on immigrants from seven mostly Muslim nations. Here's NPR's Yuki Noguchi.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: As the ban took effect Friday evening, U.S. employers rushed to recall workers back to the U.S. Many tech executives with large foreign workforces rebuke the ban. The Cleveland Clinic, whose CEO sits on one of Trump's business advisory panels, said one of its medical interns was diverted to Saudi Arabia after trying to re-enter the U.S. Kim Thompson is an Atlanta employment attorney advising Fortune 500 companies.

KIM THOMPSON: Definitely if you're from one of these seven countries on the list in the executive order, we're recommending no travel at all.

NOGUCHI: Thompson says even foreign nationals of countries unaffected by the ban are emailing her with their concerns over whether it's safe for them to travel. She also worries about retaliation.

THOMPSON: I do feel that we might end up with other countries reacting to this, not just the seven countries that we're dealing with, but other countries too that start taking actions so that American citizens couldn't travel to those countries as freely as we have in the past.

NOGUCHI: Lynn Shotwell, executive director for the Council for Global Immigration, says federal discrimination laws prohibit employers from asking about religion or national origin, making it hard to identify affected workers, but some have a big immigrant workforce.

LYNN SHOTWELL: Universities are probably one of the groups that I've heard the most from so, you know, universities have traditionally been open to people from around the world.

NOGUCHI: Shotwell says companies are also taking the opportunity to communicate to all employees.

SHOTWELL: They are trying to reassure their employees that they support them, and that this order hasn't changed their support for a diverse global workforce.

NOGUCHI: Yuki Noguchi, NPR News, Washington.

(SOUNDBITE OF AMON TOBIN SONG, "YASAWAS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Yuki Noguchi is a correspondent on the Science Desk based out of NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C. She started covering consumer health in the midst of the pandemic, reporting on everything from vaccination and racial inequities in access to health, to cancer care, obesity and mental health.